Sunday Metal – Death Angel

Death Angel – “Hatred United / United Hate”

 

2017-10-20 training log

A nice way to end this cycle.

Things were good, strong. Moved well. The close-grip benching actually has me very much looking forward to flat benching again and seeing how that goes. I’m hopeful.

Anyways, nothing much to say. Just a solid day and a nice way to cap things off. I’ll be taking next week fully off, tho I may do stretching, rolling, and go for some walks. The break should do my body good.

  • BB Curls (elbows in, wider grip)
    • 55 x 8
    • 65 x 7
    • 75 x 6
    • 85 x 5
    • 95 x 4
    • 105 x 3
    • 90 x 12 (AMRAP)
    • 90 x 6 (50%)
  • Close-Grip Bench
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 155 x 7
    • 175 x 6
    • 195 x 5
    • 225 x 4
    • 245 x 3
    • 215 x 12 (AMRAP)
    • 215 x 6 (50%)
  • Incline Hammer Curls (3 second eccentric, go to failure)
    • 30e x 12
    • 30e x 11
    • 30e x 8
  • Standing French Press
    • 95 x 12
    • 95 x 12
    • 95 x 19
  • Cable Curl (hold/sqeeze at top)
    • 50 x 40
    • 50 x 27
    • 50 x 20
    • 40 x 3 (drop)
    • 30 x 5 (drop)
  • Rope Pressdowns (First 20, twist out hands at bottom; remainder straight hands pushed to failure)
    • 65 x 40
    • 65 x 34
    • 65 x 28
    • 55 x 6 (drop)
    • 45 x 7 (drop)

2017-10-19 training log

It was a day. Solid work.

For sure, next cycle shrugs will drop the heavy sets. More sets, higher reps (like 12-20 reps).

I also saw a different narrow grip V-bar, that has fat handles. I think I’m going to use this for my cable rows next cycle.

Also, after I was done, I took a look at the farmer’s walk implements in the outside gym area. Yeah, I’m thinking those will be my cardio this next cycle. It’ll be different, I can because new gym, and I’m having some issues with my hands/arms/wrists/grip and when I do things to really crush and work my grip (instead of just letting my hands be “hooks”), it seems to be helping. So, let’s go with that emotion.

Very much looking forward to the week off, and then starting my updated cycle.

  • Face Pulls
    • 65 x 25
    • 65 x 25
  • Barbell Rows
    • 135 x 8
    • 155 x 7
    • 175 x 6
    • 195 x 5
    • 215 x 4
    • 225 x 3
    • 195 x 8 (AMRAP)
    • 195 x 5 (50%)
  • BB Shrugs
    • 315 x 8
    • 315 x 8
    • 245 x 20
    • 245 x 20
  • Cable Row (low, wide neutral grip)
    • 145 x 12
    • 145 x 12
    • 145 x 14
  • Curl-Grip Pulldowns
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 10
    • 110 x 3 (drop)
    • 95 x 3 (drop)

Why not both?

Greg Ellifritz posted this meme to Facebook:

As expected, comments and sharing ensued.

Via another avenue, I learned about a share of Greg’s posting with sharer commentary. The sharer’s commentary said this was bullshit, that you don’t need to have physical fitness, beards, tattoos – you just need a determined mindset (and even better if it’s determination backed up by a gun). Of course the commenting on that went off the rails too.

While pictorial memes can be fun(ny) and useful, their problem is they cannot convey depth. They’re the modern equivalent of a sound bite. Remember what George Carlin said about that:

And so, on television news there is, oddly, very little emphasis on the present; on today’s actual news. The present exists only in thirty-second stories built around eight-second sound bites. Remember, “sound bite” is their phrase. that’s what they give you. Just a bite. No chewing, no digestion, no nourishment. Malnutrition.

Because here’s the thing: there’s a kernel of truth in what both people are saying. Reality is more nuanced than a meme or a share-rant can provide.

Let’s start with the original meme. The premise is to help in the decision to take tactical training. The creator/poster of the meme believes there are prerequisites to tactical training, such as having a reasonable level of physical fitness, and that maybe this isn’t the first time you’ve gotten punched in the face. On the points, the author isn’t necessarily wrong.

So you want tactical training, so you carry a gun – why? Ostensibly because you want to save lives, to preserve life, etc.. If such is the case, then physical fitness will do more for you. The reality is violent crime and other situations whose answer is “using a gun” are few and far between – they are rare events. Death from heart attacks? obesity, and obesity-related matters? Quite common. You are more likely to die because of that extra 100 lb. you’re hauling around than from a violent crime. So you better believe that physical fitness will do more for your life in general. If you care about protecting life so much, start with your own personal health.

I see it in classes all the time. People who cannot keep up with even a small bit of physical exertion. I mean, our classes at KR Training may not all be the most physically demanding, but there is a lot of walking that goes on. You will be on your feet all day. You will be in the hot Texas sun all day. It WILL take a physical toll on you. And if you bomb out of the day for those reasons, then it was a lot of your time and money wasted. That $400 for a weekend class may be better spent on an annual gym membership.

But do you need to be able to run a marathon? Do you need to be able to squat 600 lb? Do you need to have 5% bodyfat? in order to take a training class? Probably not, tho that would vary depending upon the class (an Intro to Marksmanship class vs. a Shivworks ECQC do have rather different requirements). So to need to be “physically fit” is certainly relative. As well, should we deny a frail elderly person, or someone with physical handicaps/limitations (including simply being obese) from being able to receive training in self-defense? Nope. But of course, there may be limitations in terms of the training one can receive.

So the original meme has a kernel of truth, but reality isn’t as plain as the meme tries to make it. The sharer’s calling of “bullshit” on the meme has some ground.

And on the sharer’s side they speak of the importance of a determined mindset. There’s no question that is important. We hear the countless stories of people receiving superficial (and totally survivable) wounds and falling over dead because they gave up. Then other people who are put through literal hell, but are so determined to fight and win they do and live to regale us with their battle stories. Determined mindset cannot be discounted, and we all work to teach and imbue that in our students.

What’s interesting is the sharer gave examples like “what do they teach in Army Basic Training”, and allusions to military groups of yore. That those groups are just all about determined mindset. But you know what all those groups received?

Tactical Training.

And you know what’s part of that training? Physical fitness. By pleasant coincidence John M. Buol, Jr. just posted the 2018 Army Combat Readiness Test. How do YOU score on that test? If the US Army thinks physical fitness is an important part of combat readiness – that’s what we call a clue, that physical fitness is an important component and possible prerequisite.

So maybe the original meme has some ground too.

I know we now live in a world of absolutes. Where what I say and believe is right, and what you say and believe is wrong. Where Truth only exists in meme or Tweet-able form, and anything “tl;dr” (like this article) is… well… too long and no one’s going to read it. But no matter how you believe reality to be – reality is what it is, regardless of your belief. And often that reality isn’t as simple nor as black-and-white as you wish to make it. Instead of trying to be right, work to seek Truth. Work to see the other’s point of view, because maybe there is a sliver of merit. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

2017-10-17 training log

Squats make everything better.

Drag ass out of bed. I do think I’m perhaps entering a bit of burnout because motivation in many life areas are lacking. But, it’s about discipline, not motivation. So off to the gym I go.

And as usual, I feel better for having done so.

Squats went great today! The work-up went mighty well, everything felt awesome. I started to toy with the notion of working up to 345 – because that’s my all-time best, so to go from a specific 1RM workup and grind to just a typical work-up? That’s stronger. Then I thought maybe 350, because half-way to 400. But no — that’s ego lifting. Not going to do it. Stay the course, follow the plan. I even thought I’d just do the 335 for 2 then, but again no. Point is tho, I felt really good today AND this current work-up is working quite well. That it feels easier and faster every session, as well as the AMRAP increasing, is a good sign. Other lifts are starting to cusp on stagnant, so the reset and change-up I’m about to do is going to be good. But I’m not changing squats because there doesn’t seem to be a need right now.

  • Squat
    • bar x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 185 x 4
    • 225 x 3
    • 255 x 2
    • 285 x 1
    • 315 x 1
    • 335 x 1
    • 305 x 3
    • 265 x 11 (AMRAP)
  • 1″ Deficit Stiff-Leg Deadlift
    • 275 x 8
    • 275 x 8
    • 275 x 7
  • Bodyweight Squats
    • BW x 30
    • BW x 20

2017-10-16 training log

For sure, it’s time for a break/reset.

I’ll be taking next week off from the gym, just resting. If anything I’d do pre-/re-hab work (rolling, stretching, etc.), maybe some light cardio (going for a walk). But that’s all.

I’m also looking forward to starting back on flat benching. Curious if I’ll be able to again, or not. We’ll see.

That said, I am having to wrap my wrists when I bench. There’s a pain in my left wrist/thumb — it’s the (back) pressure from the bar. Wrap up and no problems. I don’t want to stay wrapped, and we’ll see in a couple weeks then how things feel (from the time off, etc.). I’ll wrap if I have to tho.

  • Incline Press
    • bar x 10
    • 125 x 5
    • 145 x 4
    • 165 x 3
    • 185 x 2
    • 205 x 1
    • 225 x 1
    • 235 x 1
    • 195 x 11 (AMRAP)
    • 195 x 4 (50%)
  • DB Bench Press (pause at bottom, get the stretch)
    • 40e x 10 (warm)
    • 60e x 8 (warm)
    • 100e x 8
    • 75e x 14
    • 45e x 20
  • Press
    • 125 x 10
    • 125 x 6
    • 125 x 6
  • DB Lateral Raise
    • 20e x 12
    • 20e x 12
    • 20e x 12
    • 20e x 9

Sunday Metal – Destruction

Destruction – “Under Attack”

 

2017-10-13 training log

A good day overall.

I continue to think about how I’m going to structure my next cycle/program. Thoughts are solidifying. Today was helpful in that.

One item of note: during close-grips I ended up wearing wrist wraps. I don’t normally, but lately I’ve had some pains in my left thumb/wrist when the bar puts weight/pressure on it. The wraps helped. I may continue using wraps on my heavier sets of pressing (all pressing) until the pain goes away.

I was also feeling a little irritation in the arms, so I took a little easy. e.g. incline curls were just that, no progressing to standing and working to failure there.

  • BB Curls (elbows in, wider grip)
    • 55 x 8
    • 65 x 7
    • 75 x 6
    • 85 x 5
    • 95 x 4
    • 105 x 3
    • 90 x 10 (AMRAP)
    • 90 x 5 (50%)
  • Close-Grip Bench
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 155 x 7
    • 175 x 6
    • 195 x 5
    • 225 x 4
    • 245 x 3
    • 215 x 9 (AMRAP)
    • 215 x 5 (50%)
  • Incline Hammer Curls (3 second eccentric)
    • 30e x 12
    • 30e x 12
    • 30e x 9
  • Standing French Press
    • 95 x 12
    • 95 x 12
    • 95 x 8
  • Cable Curl (hold/sqeeze at top)
    • 50 x 40
    • 50 x 28
    • 50 x 21
    • 40 x 5 (drop)
    • 30 x 7 (drop)
  • Rope Pressdowns (First 20, twist out hands at bottom; remainder straight hands pushed to failure)
    • 65 x 40
    • 65 x 35
    • 65 x 27
    • 55 x 5 (drop)
    • 45 x 7 (drop)

2017-10-12 training log

The most significant thing isn’t the workout itself — it’s grip issues.

So my arm pain is pretty much gone, but something else is going on. Either it’s the same root issue, or it is something entirely different. I do believe it’s related tho, or at least a good coincidental overlap.

Basically, I’m having trouble with my grip. I have pretty good grip strength, but I can’t always activate it. It’s hard to describe. For example, yesterday I was shooting pistols and one thing I do is crush-grip the gun really hard — if I don’t, trigger slapping is more evident. I wind up pressing the trigger hard because I do, but I just wasn’t able to activate a stronger grip to counter it. And I experience similar when I lift. A lot of things should have a crushing grip, like when bench pressing. Alas, it doesn’t happen. I try, but things then feel weak. Again, it’s really hard to describe. But it’s starting to bug me. And just now as I’m typing, I had this sensation in my left arm and for a moment my arm felt really weak.

Interesting thing? If I work to really activate it, things feel better. Like if I focus just on a crush grip, or take a COC gripper, crush it all the way and hold for as long as I can. Or even just sit here and clench my fist as much as possible. Things feel and get better.

I’m not sure what to make of it yet, but I’m thinking about doing some explicit forearm/grip work to see what comes of it. It may not even be during gym time, maybe just sitting at my desk and during meetings crush-hold a COC.

  • Face Pulls
    • 65 x 25
    • 65 x 25
  • Barbell Rows
    • 135 x 8
    • 155 x 7
    • 175 x 6
    • 195 x 5
    • 205 x 4
    • 215 x 3
    • 185 x 12 (AMRAP)
    • 185 x 6 (50%)
  • BB Shrugs
    • 315 x 8
    • 315 x 8
    • 235 x 20
    • 235 x 22
  • Cable Row (low, wide neutral grip)
    • 140 x 12
    • 140 x 12
    • 140 x 14
  • Curl-Grip Pulldowns
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 105 x 4 (drop)
    • 90 x 4 (drop)

Beware Simple Answers

Beware simple answers. They are reassuring but may not achieve the desired results given our framework of government, practical realities, and the flawed nature of human beings.

I’ve been following David’s writing and research for some time. It’s compelling and interesting.